School Development Priorities
A good school is a school that knows its strengths, takes its developmental priorities seriously and always faces new challenges dynamically and flexibly. As an international school of cultural encounter with over 40 different spoken languages, we focus on the promotion of German and English as academic languages and on dealing with the diversity of our school community in a way that is fair and appreciative of opportunities.
The Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg has furthermore agreed on the following school development priorities with the Zentralstelle für deutsche Auslandsschulen (Central Office for German Schools Abroad) as part of its funding contract for 2018 to 2021:
- Improving the quality of teaching by systematically promoting internal differentiation in the Primary and the Junior Secondary Schools.
- Professionalising organisational and communication processes by implementing a comprehensive school management system (“Engage”) with portals for teachers, parents and learners.
- Systematic improvement of the pedagogical and organisational handover management between the Preschool and the Primary School, between the Primary School and the Junior Secondary School as well as between the Junior Secondary School and the Senior Secondary School.
The outstanding results of the Bund-Länder-Inspektion 2.0 in February 2018, culminating in the award of the seal of approval “Excellent German School Abroad”, confirmed the very high quality of the Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg.
Although the focus for the school years 2019 to 2020 lay on consolidating the school development measures successfully initiated and implemented in recent years, the inspectors emphasised two new areas that we are currently addressing:
- Conceptual development and implementation of knowledge and handover management.
- Conceptual development and implementation of a methodology curriculum from Primary to Secondary School.
Dealing with Diversity
The DSJ aims to provide a space where all children and young people – regardless of their first language, social, geographical and cultural background, gender, religious or sexual orientation – are equally valued and prepared in the best possible way for an individually appropriate school leaving qualification. To achieve this, we offer a wide range of learning opportunities, different entry levels, differentiated support programmes and a variety of options for learning process guidance and support – from childcare for very young children up to grade 12.
As part of this programme, for example, we have established individual learner development discussions in the Primary School and in grades 5, 6 and 7 in recent years.
We are continuously developing support services of this kind.
This is what school development is all about
- at the level of school culture, to further improve transitions within and outside school,
- to give cultural diversity space for exchange and encounter while preserving the German identity of the school
Challenges from the Corona Pandemic 2020
The corona pandemic unexpectedly presented schools worldwide with new challenges in 2020. The Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg also utilised this challenge to provide positive impulses for school development and focused on further development of the following areas:
- provision and best possible adaptation of a digitalised infrastructure for DSJ teachers and learners
- qualifying teachers to use the electronic platforms and tools.